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good morning. inside the bin laden raid. experts from that controversial book "no easy day" finally leaking out this morning. new details about the chaos in the moments before navy s.e.a.l.s ambushed an killed osama bin laden. power less. hundreds of thousds still without power days after hurricane isaac ripped through the gulf coast as the army corps of engineers tried to figure out whether the levees in new orleans actually made the flooding outside the city worse. and tom cruise's block bluster, "vanity fair" reporting this morning the church of scientology auditioned potential wives for tom cruise before katie holmes was in the picture.
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the startling claims about cruise and the church today, the startling claims about cruise and the church today, sunday, september 2nd, 2012. captions paid for by nbc-universal television good morning. and welcome to "today." i'm lester holt. >> i'm jenna wolf. "no easy day" not out until tuesday, yet we're learning so much more about it. we've known the broad outline of the frenzied moments leading up to the raid. we haven't been told the exact details. they're starting to come out. >> we're seeing excerpts from the book written by a navy s.e.a.l. who took part. they've been published in "the sun" newspaper in great britain. the author reveals how close the mission came to being a total disaster. more on that ahead. and battling in the battleground states.
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president obama and governor mitt romney taking each other on with election day just over two months away and the democratic convention fast approaching. we will go live on the campaign trail with the president. plus, a pretty shocking transformation for actor matthew mcconaughey, who's lost a huge amount of weight for a movie role. he'll the latest celebrity to do it. we'll ask why favorite stars gain or lose so much weight for a role and are they putting their health at risk. prince harry set to make his first public appearance since that nude photo scandal. a woman who claimed she was with him the night those infamous pictures were taken is speaking out. >> the question, is that a good thing or a bad thing. new details of raid in the bin laden compound. mike viqueira has more on the story. good morning. >> reporter: good morning to you, lester. . you're right. the prologue to "no easy day" is printed in today's editions of "the sun" in great britain, and the author under the pen name of mark owen describes high drama and a brush with disaster as his
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team of navy s.e.a.l.s was about to storm osama bin laden's compound. the newly released excerpts come just days after the pentagon threatened to file criminal charges against the former s.e.a.l. who wrote "no easy day." but an attorney for the author says the book doesn't reveal any secrets that would put current navy s.e.a.l.s at risk. in the book, owen describes in great detail the conditions leading up to perhaps the most famous commando raid in u.s. history. one minute out, the black hawk crew chief slid the door open. i could just make him out holding up one finger and glanced around at my s.e.a.l. teammates. this team had been handpicked from the most experienced men in our squadron. owen stresses that there was still no way to know for sure if osama bin laden was inside. we were now less than a minute from the compound. intelligence said our target was there. but it didn't matter. whoever was in there was about to have a bad night. as we now know it was almost a bad night for the s.e.a.l.s as one of the choppers, the one
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carrying owen, crashed upon landing inside the compound. as the helicopter attempted to climb, it took a violent right turn, spinning 90 degrees. i could feel the tail kick to the left. it caught me by surprise and i struggled to find a hand hold inside the cabin to keep from sliding out the door. i could see the wall of the courtyard coming up at us. overhead, the humming engines now seemed to scream. the tail rotor had barely hissed hitting the guest house as we slid to the left. the mission was about to go way off track before we even had a chance to get our feet on the ground. and as we learned shortly thereafter that helicopter made a soft crash landing. no one was hurt and the s.e.a.l.s were able to carry out their daring mission. this book is not going to be made available to the public until tuesday, but until then and even after then, the controversy over the author and the book aren't likely to end soon. lester? >> thanks. here's jenna. residents along the gulf coast are still cleaning up the damage this morning from
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hurricane isaac, this as hundreds of thousands remain in the dark. nbc's gabe gutierrez is in new orleans with the latest. gabe, good morning. >> reporter: jenna, good morning. the army corps of engineers now says it will check whether the upgrayed levee system here may have contributed to more flooding outside the city. meanwhile, much of downtown new orleans is back in business with power. not everyone's so fortunate. in parts of louisiana, water levels are dropping. but frustration is mounting. >> everybody's saying there's trucks sitting around in parking lots, hundreds, 50 of them here, 50 there, and all the workers are there but nobody's doing anything. >> reporter: thousands of line crews are on the move as the gulf coast recovers from isaac. the slow-moving hurricane knocked out power to more than a million customers in louisiana, mississippi, and arkansas. today that number is less than 400,000. but for them, patience is wearing thin.
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outside new orleans, beth gotter was desperate for shade after losing power on tuesday. >> it's just so hot. it's 95 degrees inside my house, and it's very hard to sleep. >> reporter: this family-owned grocery store just got its power back. how much inventory do you think you lost here? >> we think we lost somewhere between $50000 and $700,000. >> reporter: workers began restocking shelves after throwing so much away. >> we didn't see any entergy trucks. i don't know where they were. i don't know where these phantom electricians were, but they weren't out here working. >> reporter: some people are so angry here that the president of jefferson parish is calling for a state investigation. >> i've call for them to set the maximum fines appropriate and available. >> reporter: louisiana's main power company, entergy, says crews from around the country are working as fast as possible. >> on thursday, the storm -- most of its remnants moved out of the city of new orleans and
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it wasn't until about midmorning we could get buckets in the air when the wind died down below 30. >> reporter: but in plaquemines parish, power or lack of sit not the most pressing concern. some people still can't even see their homes. others, like rachel, are thankful for what they salvaged. >> it's got this much on the second floor. so i saved everything on my second floor and my little boy's turtle, his tortoise. that's all he wanted out. >> reporter: the electric company expects about 70% of the people in new orleans to have power by monday. north of here, officials evacuated about 1,200 homes yesterday because of concerns that a boat lock could fail, that evacuation is still under way, although officials believe they've relieved the pressure on that boat lock. >> problems still remain. thank you very much. here's lester. just two days to go before the democratic national
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convention, president obama is campaigning in key battleground states. kristen welker is on the road with the president in boulder, colorado. kristen, good morning. >> reporter: good morning to you, lester. president obama will campaign here at the university of colorado a little bit later on today. it's a part of his four-state sprint to the democratic national convention, this after he and republican challenger mitt romney traded fresh barbs on saturday. >> i need your help. >> reporter: in iowa for the seventh time this year, the president tried to renew some of the excitement that unpredictably won him the state four years ago, taking direct aim at his republican challenger and his nomination speech. >> they were going so far backward you might as well have watched them on black and white tv. put some rabbit ears on the convention hall. when governor romneyed had a chance to let you in on his secret sauce, he didn't offer
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you a sing null idea. >> reporter: back in florida and back on stage together for the first time since tampa, mitt romney and paul ryan aimed to harness the momentum from their week in the spotlight. >> look, it's time for us to take responsibility for the course of america, to get us back on track. you can change the course of this country. we're going to take america back. >> reporter: but earlier saturday in cincinnati, ohio, romney used the start of the football season to arguitis time for someone new to start calling the plays. >> 23 million people are out of work or stopped looking for work or underemployed. let me tell you, if you have a coach that's zero and 23 million, you say it's time to get a new coach. >> reporter: and in an uncharacteristic move, romney attempted to distance himself from an unpopular congress, even while sharing the stage with republican house speaker john boehner and ohio senator rob portman. >> we're going to finally have
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to do something that republicans have spoken about for a long time and for a while. we didn't do it. while we had the lead, we let people down. we have to make sure we don't let them down this time. i will cut the deficit and get us on track to a balanced budget. >> reporter: now, that's the type of message that also resonates are independent voters. romney will be down for the rest of the weekend, working on debate prep. president obama head to ohio from here and then to louisiana on monday to meet with those impacted by hurricane isaac. campaign aides tell me in between stops he is working on his convention speech. what they call a work in progress. lester? >> kristen welker this morning. thank you. david gregory is moderator of "meet the press." good morning. >> good morning, lester. >> the republican convention, a lot fewer viewers across the board than we've seen previously, 30% down from 2008. you would think this is the time folks really get invested in paying attention to the candidates. is this a sign about how we feel about the candidates or is it
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the candidates themselves? >> i think it's also politics, lester, in washington and dysfunction here. i think there may very well be and we may probably see it on the democratic side, as well, less interest, less intensity, a lot more cynicism, a feeling that people have that nothing is going to change for all of this debate. the personalities involved may have something to do with it, but i think it's a lot of the other. >> there's some polling out there, at least some tracking data that shows a little bit of a bounce for romney, but is it too soon to say how much of a bounce he gets after the convention? >> i think it is. we'll see the democrats come right after this in prime time, the president speaking on thursday night. i think you want to get a sense over the next few weeks, sustained campaigning, a lot of campaign advertising. you know, the conventions unleash the general election funds for each side. they're going to be using that to go after each other. so as you get a little deeper into the month, i think you get a better sense of where the race is. >> "wall street journal" reported that the president told his aides to get him out more, more campaign events we're
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seeing this weekend, iowa, colorado, ohio, virginia, all states he carried in 2008. are there worries here that he hasn't generated the same amount of excitement and that there may be issues in those states he carried? >> well, yeah, no question. i think that voter intensity is to key that you mentioned because the president has got to drive out his core voters, younger people, minorities, women. he's got to run up the totals there, particularly as he loses ground among particularly white voters that you see among males. we talk about a gender gap, it benefits the president among women, it disadvantages him among men. that's an advantage for republicans typically and for mitt romney in this case. i think that's very important. and, look, the president has to deal with the fact that mitt romney is in a dead-even race with him. the president's approvals is under 50%. it's a deadlock race. this is going to be very tight. the republicans are in a fairly strong position for all the negative ads that have been thrown their way. >> david, thank you. we'll check back with you later for what's coming up on "meet the press."
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our prime time coverage of the democratic national convention starts tuesday night at 10:00 eastern, 7:00 pacific here on nbc. we want to get a check of the rest of this morning's top stories from cnbc's mandy drury at the news desk. good morning. >> good morning. thanks very much. good morning, everybody. questions are being raised today about management practices at the department of homeland security. the chief of staff of immigration and customs enforcement has resign after being accused of inappropriate sexual behavior by at least three i.c.e. impleauees. suzanne bard denies the allegations but says she resigned to end the distractions. u.s. officials say they need to improve way they check afghan security forces. this follows a string of attacks by afghan soldiers and police on their international allies. as a result, the training of afghan local police is being put on hold for at least a month. this is throwing doubt on the u.s.-led coalition's planned withdrawal by the end of 2014. sad news this morning. the legendary songwriter hal
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david has lied in los angeles at the age of 91. david teamed with bert back arak in the 1960s on dozens of hit songs that included rain drops keep falling on my head and do you know the way to ceos. david's wife says he died saturday of complications from a stroke. the author of the 1970s bestseller "johnathan livingston seagull" is in serious condition. his small plane crashed thursday in washington state. the 76-year-old has a head injury and a broken shoulder. and usually it's rain that stops play at the u.s. open, but this time it was a squirrel that stole the show until it could find its way back off centre court. coming up, we are going to meet a very special ball boy at the u.s. open. he's a u.s. army soldier who lost a leg in afghanistan. that's in just a few minutes' time here on "today." that's the news. lester, general ma, maria, back to you. >> thank you.
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maria larosa is here for the weather. the three of us together look like a mets souvenir. seriously. >> not a bad thing. >> you had to explain, the colors? lester lester's, like, because of the colors. >> if you're not a baseball fan -- >> you're right. how are you? >> i'm great. hopefully you're well. i know a lot of folks still dealing five days after landfall with the remnants of isaac. nashville right now, torrential rainfall coming on through. much of the midwest dealing with the remnants. don't be surprised to see 4, 5, 6 additional inches of rainfall that is actually going to lead to more flooding of streams and creeks and rivers but also flashflooding on the roadways. for today, that will be the main focus from the ohio valley into parts of the midsouth. meanwhile, into the northern plains, another system coming through could touch off some severe weather. >> good morning, everyone. the further we go into the day today, the better chance we will andscattered showers
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thunderstorms. warm and humid with a high around 84 degrees. that's your weather. lest lester, pack to you. up next, as we mentioned the most inspiring tennis ball boy you'll ever meet.
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treat yourself good. for a golf getaway. double miles you can actually use... but mr. single miles can't join his friends because he's getting hit with blackouts. shame on you. now he's stuck in a miniature nightmare. oh, thank you. but, with the capital one venture card... you can fly any airline, any flight, any time. double miles you can actually use. what's in your wallet? alec jr? it was a gift. i get the power of claritin-d. sinus pressure? nothing works stronger or faster than claritin-d. get non-drowsy claritin-d at the pharmacy counter. live claritin clear. so, just a few miles from here the u.s. open tennis tournament is in full swing already, while the world's best players are in action, the true
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hero is one young man retrieving the balls for them. when the u.s. open tennis tournament comes to new york city each year, it's not just the players who are running around out on the court. the ball people are working just as hard. by and large, they go unnoticed. that is except for 23-year-old ball boy ryan mcintosh. that's because he's missing a leg. >> i got on the helicopter, immediately went into surgery, and my leg was amputated. from that day forward, my life would be different. >> two years ago, mcintosh was serving in afghanistan with the u.s. army when he stepped on a land mine. >> there was a 40-pound jug of homemade explosives underneath that didn't detonate, and so it kind of just made me realize that, you know, life is very short and, you know, you need to squeeze as much as you can as fast as you can. >> still, he remained athletic. at a competition for wounded military veterans, a coach suggested he try out to be a ball person. >> i heard about three weeks before, and they're, like, well,
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you made the cut. i was excited and ready to go. >> and while he has an amazing attitude, he does face some big challenges. >> stand tong court in one way, you know, maybe interferes with my leg and causes a rough spot. after every change where i have to adjust my leg and make sure it's not rubbing raw. >> happy isn't always easy either. >> i have to bring an extra running leg and just in case something breaks, i ended up forgetting a couple bolts. i had to go to home depot in downtown new york to fix my leg. >> though life is different now, he's working on making a difference in his young son's life and in the lives of other soldiers. >> i put together tournaments and that kind of stuff for wounded and injured soldiers to get them back on the right page. a lot of them inspire me. >> it seems like mcintosh is doing some inspiring of his own. he got to meet andy roddick after rod dig requested an introduction. despite it all, ryan mcintosh doesn't view himself as disabled. >> come to realize that, you
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know, life's going to be a little bit different, but i don't look at it as harder. i just look at it as my life now. >> great story. ryan mcintosh has his sights set on an even bigger prize, the next paralympic games in rio de janeiro, brazil. still to come, new claims that the church of scientology actively auditioned potential wives for tom cruise. especially germs. kinds of, that's why you always get your flu shot. this year, walgreens will do you one better and check if there are any other immunizations you might need -- absolutely free, no appointment necessary. preparing you for years of unplanned sharing to come. at walgreens and take care clinics, we've got all kinds of ways to arm yourself for flu season, and they're all right here... at the corner of happy and healthy.
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still ahead, actor matthew mcconaughey drops an astonishing amount of weight for a movie role. is he putting his health at risk? what makes hershey's s'mores special?
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pure chocolate goodness that brings people together. hershey's makes it a s'more... you make it special. pure hershey's.
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>> this is wbal 11 news in baltimore. >> it's 8:26. baltimore city police are investigating a shooting involving several of their own officers that happened around 10:00 p.m. on lorraine avenue. police say detectives observed an armed man who ran inside and the man drew a semi-automatic handgun, pointing it in the direction of police. the detectives have been placed on administrative duty. baltimore county police called to the 7100 block of darlington
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drive in parkville tee bee's bar where investigators found tavares lonell jones. he was stabbed while breaking up a fight. jones was taken to the hospital where he later died. city fire officials are trying to determine what sparked a fire that killed one person in east baltimore. this picture was provided by the baltimore city fire department. the fire happened just before 3:00 saturday in the 15000 block of holbrook street. neighbors say the victim was known in the neighborhood. >> he was a good guy. he was a real good guy. everybody loved him in the neighborhood. everybody loved him. the whole neighborhood knew him well. >> police say while searching the building, one firefighter fell into the basement but was
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>> welcome back, good morning. the further we go into the day, the better chance showers and will catch up to us. muggy day, mix of sun and clouds, chance for showers and storms. the best chance will be this afternoon with a high temperature around 84 degrees. overnight tonight, mostly cloudy skies, showers and thunderstorms and temperatures dropping to about 70. labor day, chances of rain 60%, showers and thunderstorms around on labor day, as well. chance for rain will taper off as we head through the week. by wednesday, 30% or 40%, clearing on thursday and friday with highs in the low to mid
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80's. >> thank you for joining us. 11 news sunday morning continues in 25 minutes. we're back on a sunday morning, september 2nd, 2012. it is the day before labor day, and these are the people that decided to stay in the city this weekend. and we are so grateful to have them. the crowd seems to be already in a holiday frame of mind. thank you guys so much for spending part of your long weekend with us. outside on the plaza, i'm jenna wolf with lester holt. still to come, we're talking about tom cruise -- wait, first, i have to say hi to the girl scouts here. hey, you guys. >> hi! >> i asked them when they were going to come up with a fat-free, sugar-free, gluten-free cookie that tastes amazing. >> and? >> they said it might be a while. >> i'll take a box of thin mints. coming up in this half hour,
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we're talking about tom cruise and his blockbuster piece of news, this article written in "vanity fair" magazine reporting the church of scientology actively auditioned potential wives for the movie star before katie holmes came into the picture. the shocking claims about tom cruise's private life. we'll get into that. speaking of private live, prince harry, not so private those pictures of him partying in vegas. he's been keeping a pretty low profile since then. but a woman is speaking out saying she was there in the room and knows exactly what happened. all this as prince harry is about to step back in front of the public at a scheduled charity event. we'll go live to london and find out more about that. lester and i are good friends off the air as well, and a couple weeks ago he was talking to me about this dedeath sire he had to be a mermaid. i was, like, listen, it's bad for publicity. why don't i go down and do this instead. don't say it. so i went down to tampa, and i basically, i don't know, took a little mermaid lesson, if you
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will. exactly what it takes to transform myself into a siren of the sea. i'll just tell you, swimming with a tail, breathing through a hose in very, very cold weather is definitely not as easy and graceful as all that looks. >> i don't recall the conversation. >> don't worry about it. >> but that was pretty cool. >> we had an interesting time. >> didn't look like you were getting a lot of air down there. >> i still don't feel like i'm getting enough air for some reason. >> because i suck it all up. >> you picked up on that. tomorrow, labor day, matchbox 20 will be rocking the plaza. something special, a chance to meet and greet the guys. just create your best fan sign and bring it down to the plaza monday. the band will choose one lucky fan with the best sign. they'll get a chance to talk with the group after the performance. >> all right. but we want to first get another check of the weather. maria larosa is standing by somewhere out here with that. there she is. hey, maria. >> all right. good morning, guys. we want to welcome some of the
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youngest new "today" show fans, abigail here and little theodore. co-not stop smiling. i hi thi she's got a future in broadcasting, good lungs. thank you for coming to new york. whether you're celebrating a the holiday weekend or an anniversary, let's look at today. the remnants of isaac is what we're talking about. ohio valley, parts of the tennessee valley, heavy rain, flashflooding possible. the midsection, very hot through the plains, temperatures over 100 degrees in some spots and the west coast looking pretty good. by tomorrow, the remnants move into the interior east. meanwhile, a slight risk of severe weather develops in through the central plains but continues sunny and warm across >> good morning, everyone. the further we go into the day today, the better chance we will andscattered showers thunderstorms. warm and humid with a high around 84 degrees.
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jenna, back to you. >> all right, maria. thank you. he's one of the biggest movie stars in the world. tom cruise most recently in the headlines for his high-profile breakup with actress katie holmes. and now a blockbuster new magazine claims -- article, rather, that the church of scientology auditioned wo po tenial wives for him before holmes was in the picture. nbc's veronica de la cruz has more. good morning. >> good morning. the article written by a special correspondent is in the october issue of "vanity fair" magazine and called "what katie didn't know: marriage scientology style." excerpts are appearing online. according to "vanity fair," back
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in 2004, the church of scientology went on a top-secret mission to find cruise a girlfriend following his breakups with nicole kidman and penelope cruise. they ran afoul of scientology, it is said. the magazine report says actresses who are already scientology members were called in and told they were auditioning for a new training film but were then asked what they thought of tom cruise. one woman featured in the article, an actress and scientology follower, according to "vanity fair," she was selected and dated cruise from november 2004 until january 2005, but the magazine reports cruise quickly grew tired of her and reported apparent transgressions to a member of the scientology staff. allegedly, she was sent to a scientology center in florida and forced to do menial labor, according to "vanity fair." the church told "vanity fair" it does not punish people like that. it denies any such search for a
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girlfriend took place and says some of the sources for the story are disgruntled ex-church members. now, we unsuccessfully tried to contact representatives for tom cruise and boniati this morning. the magazine said cruise declined to comment and we also called the church of scientology but unable to get a response in time. jenna? >> interesting story. veronica de la cruz, thank you very much. here's lester. jenna, thanks. new details about prince harry's wild stay in vegas are emerging this morning from a woman who says she was there with the prince when those infamous nude photos were taken. nbc's duncan golistati is live in london. good morning. >> reporter: the process of rebuilding prince harry's public image will begin tomorrow, but first more embarrassing revelations. if those naked photos weren't embarrassing enough, here comes the inside story. one woman has come forward
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telling a british tabloid she spent 20 minutes alone with harry in the bedroom of his vip suite in las vegas. and explaining that infamous photo, she says, he was trying to get everybody naked. that was the point of him getting naked. the next time harry steps in front of the cameras it will be more like this, the serious, caring prince who's been a patron of a charity for sick children for the last five years. >> obviously, he's at home with doing these sorts of events with young people. and i think really it will be in stark contrast to the last images everyone saw of him in las vegas. >> reporter: the video on extra a reminder of a prince we've rarely seen in recent years. pool parties and bar hopping were out, replaced by service in a war zone and good works around the world. but his fun-filled vacation has brought him full circle. >> so i think it's time probably for him to take a long, hard look at himself and say, look, i know i want to be a normal person, but i'm not. i'm a member of the royal family and i've got to start act like
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one. >> his royal highness, prince henry of wales. >> reporter: he showed it was possible during the london games, representing the queen and cheering on the athletes. this week he has the chance to do the same again when he attends the paralympics. william and kate have been part of the games, appearing in the opening ceremony and getting into the spirit at one of the events. his escapades may have sent the newspapers into a tizzy, but the public has been far more understanding. >> he's a young man in las vegas. what do you expect? >> i don't think it will affect his popularity. >> reporter: soon, prince harry will return to afghanistan as a helicopter pilot, another example of the life of duty in a place far from the temptations of sin city. a tough tour of duty ahead for harry, but at least we know he had a fun summer. lester? >> all right, duncan, thanks. up next, matthew mcconaughey, the latest
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so you've seen it over and over, your favorite movie stars either losing a ton of weight or gaining it to get into a character. but are they putting their health at risk for a role? here's nbc's michelle franzen. >> the law says that you cannot. but i think i see a lot of lawbreakers. >> reporter: matthew mcconaughey, fresh from his buff role in "magic mike" is stripping down for a new film, taking off the pounds to play a texas electrician diagnosed with aids. recent photos show the actor looking more gaunt than muscular. >> why are you so thin? >> i'm losing some weight. i've got a role coming up. i need to lose another 15. i should not look healthy by the time i'm doing it. >> reporter: the latest hollywood actor willing to go to the extreme to lose or gain weight for a part. robert de niro set the tone, gaining 60 pounds for the film
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"raging bull." george clooney and rene zellweger packed on the extra pounds for their movie roles. tom hanks melted it off twice for "philadelphia" and for "castaway." and in "the black swan," mila kunis and natalie portman, both already slim and trim, lost weight to portray ballerinas. >> stars lose weight for their roles because physically if you're going to meet this character you have to do it. oftentimes when award season comes around, you are rewarded for it. >> reporter: that dedication can border on dangerous. christian bale lost 65 pounds to portray an emaciated insomniac in "the machinist." 50 cent lost an immense amount of weight for a movie role as a football player battling cancer. for "les miserables," anne hathaway had to lose 25 pounds quickly for her role. she usualed fans not to copy her and said she was under the guidance of a nutritionist. health experts agree, saying the
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risks of losing too much too fast are the same for everyone. >> extreatment dieting should not be taken lightly. you cause yourself hair loss, muscle loss, and you may not be able to get back that muscle mass as easily. >> reporter: for "today," michelle franzen, nbc news, new york. >> some of those images are hard to watch. here's lester. no secret celebrity endorsements are big business, but the newest crop of stars signing up to sell you vacations and insurance are decidedly old school. consumer correspondent janice lieberman is here to explain. good morning. >> good morning. you've heard the lines, call now, no obligation, this offer won't last. are the actors saying them these days to make you feel nostalgic? we've noticed an awful lot of our favorite baby boomer tv stars taking on new roles pitching products. >> ay! i'm the fonz. i'm selling these books. they're cool, they're cheap.
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>> these days the fonz wants to sell you a reverse mortgage. >> take control of your retirement today. >> reporter: "the flying nun" was the face of osteoporosis medication. >> that's why it's important to have strong, healthy bones. >> reporter: and steve austin has trade his bionic arms and legs for a bionic hearing aid. a growing group of aging celebrities are endorsing products aimed at their fellow boomers. >> i recently needed cataract shoulder. >> this is my boss. >> a reverse mortgage can change all that. >> reporter: robert wagner, henry winkler and former senator fred thompson are all backing reverse mortgage companies. >> take my word for it. >> reporter: financial experts say before you buy in, to your homework. >> there are a lot of pros to a reverse mortgage, but there are a also a lot of cons. >> about $130,000 in tax-free cash. >> reporter: fred thompson says he researched the company and
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made sure he has a final say on scripts. more control than he had on "law and order." >> tough on dick wolf? >> no. i was in no position to be tough on dick wolf. >> reporter: the senator says before he endorses anything he asks himself -- >> is it good? does it make sense? and are they willing to pay me a fair price to do it? >> reporter: it's not only about the product and the money but the limelight. >> people are convinced if they keep their brand out there, their name out there, their face out there that they've got a shot of getting back in the game. >> scotty, beam us up fast. >> reporter: it worked famously for captain kirk. >> planning a trip to cancun? >> reporter: well, i mean, william shatner. >> priceline negotiator! >> reporter: his travel campaign made him a household name again. ♪ my time was morning and morning was noon ♪ but finding a celebrity who once did steamy love scenes to identify themselves with a
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product for aging can be tough. >> hi. pat boone here. i want to tell you about all the wonderful things a safe step walk-in tub can do. >> reporter: when sally field was doing ads for boniva, she told matt lauer it didn't bother her. >> i don't care. i'm not going to give up in this part of my life, and i will get older but i'm going to do it being strong and standing up and all that. >> reporter: marketing pros say the trend will continue. so expect to see more blasts from the past giving you the hard sell. >> what am i going to buy it with, my good looks? >> i guess. well, it's not just celebrities. companies that analyze the effectiveness of ads say they're seeing an increase in boomer-aged characters. whether they're shopping or dining out, boomers look to see themselves remitted on the small screen. >> how do these companies decide which celebrities they want to bring back? >> oh, it's very, you know,
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intense. they'll ask a group of boomers, what do you think? would you like to have dinner with this person? do you trust this person? they don't just take any actor off the screen because these people have something in them that would make you believe them. >> all right, janice. thanks very much. still to come on "today," jenna goes under water and learns about becoming a mermaid. [ male announcer ] on one corner, one pharmacist started it all: charles walgreen had a mission to help people be happy and healthy. from inventing the first chocolate malt... to creating a nonprofit pharmacy for our troops... to the first child safety caps. walgreens has been innovating for over a hundred years. and we're just getting started. with more and more ways to be well every day. here at the corner of happy and healthy. they claim to be complete. only centrum goes beyond. providing more than just the essential nutrients, so i'm at my best.
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centrum. always your most complete. they're whole grain good... and yummy good. real fruit pieces. 12 grams of whole grains and a creamy yogurt flavored coating. quaker yogurt granola bars. treat yourself good.
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have you ever wondered what it takes to become a siren of the sea? that's right. a real, live mermaid. there are people out there who wish and think about it all the time. so i thought i'd give it a try. i dmoef and found out first hand
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at mermaid camp. ♪ under the sea, under the sea darling it's better down where it's wetter ♪ ♪ take it from me >> don't believe mermaid are real? then you've obviously never been to florida's wiki watchy spring, a state park famed for its mesmerizing maidens who have enchanted audiences since 1947. >> 40 miles outside of tampa, florida, a playground of the nation. >> our goal today is to unlock your mermaid spirit and make you a mermaid. >> how did you know it needed unlocking? >> i know. i've been doing this a long time. >> couldn't find the key, so i'm glad i'm here. now, i've had my share of crazy stunts through year, but me as a mermaid? there's no way i could do this. this is where it all happen, huh? >> veteran mermaid barbara has been swimming these serene waters since she was 17 years old. she now runs the parks popular sirens of the deep mermaid camp for women 30 and older.
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and this isn't easy stuff. >> they have to use surface air, so it's a lot of work, but you want to remember is that experience of being in the tail in the water and the magic of it. i think you're going to fall in love with it. >> love is a strong word. >> i really do. i know you swim in the ocean, in the pool. you have not had this experience. >> i take baths. could that -- though my resume wasn't that impressive, it was time for this love affair to begin. i never listen. oh, it's a pull. mermaid coach carly had her work cut out for her, but we were off to a strong start when i picked out the brightest tail possible. this has my name written all over it. it would be my honor to wear this as my tail. >> perfect. that would be my choice. >> and a top to match. this is really heavy. >> it is. >> this is going to stay up okay? >> uh-huh. >> okay. but before we got our tails wet, i had to master my mermaid moves on dry land. ♪ check it out check it out
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check it out ♪ and if swimming with a tail wasn't hard enough, there was another obstacle. the spring water is cold. yeah, it's freezing. but that was nothing compared to the challenge of breathing under water like a wiki watchy mermaid. they do it with a hose. i was a little worried i wouldn't quite get it. after i got used to my new gills, if you will, it was time for my tail transformation. ♪ let's go to the beach of all the things i've done, this one ranks up there as honestly one of the kraiest. >> you have about five minutes till the show starts. >> oh, my gosh. has my nerves settled in, one last request. dear mermaid bra, please stay on. this is crucial. love, jenna. all right. here we go. whoa. that is bizarre. completely bound from the waist down, it's as if i no longer had
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legs and my arms were struggling just to move the rest of me. going to take a while. what time does the show start? but with mermaid carly at my side, we finally anchor into position. and then show time. ♪ and so as i waved to the cheering crowd, a surreal feeling swept over my soul. the aquamarine waters, indeed, unlocked my mermaid spirit. and just as we practiced on dry land, the mermaid crawl. the kiss. and before i became human again, the flip. wow. that was incredible. that was so much harder than i thought it was. you look and you see the audience. >> it makes your adrenaline go. >> or you're afraid you're going to drown. while my performance lasted about three minutes, it's a
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memory that will last a lifetime, or at least until i take my next bath. oh, my gosh. it was really hard. i'm not kidding. i've done some hard things and -- >> i was impressed with the back flip in the water, by the way. >> thank you. yes. >> watching, trying to breathe, i felt like i needed cpr. >> try breathing in through your mouth and out through your nose. it's the opposite. the water is freezing, your legs are bound and they want you to perform on top of it. i give these women a ton of credit for the work they do. the only request i got the whole time i was there, bring lest we are you. i was, like, he thinks about this stuff all the time. >> not going to happen. >> you're mulling it over. the capital one cash rewards card gives you a 50% annual bonus. and everyone likes 50% more [ russian accent ] rubles. eh, eheh, eh, eh. [ brooklyn accent ] 50% more simoleons. [ western accent ] 50% more sawbucks. ♪ [ maine accent ] 50% more clams. it's a lobster, either way.
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[ male announcer ] the capital one cash rewards card. with a 50% annual cash bonus, it's the card for people who like more cash. [ italian accent ] 50% more dough! what's in your wallet?
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as the saying goes, if it's sunday, it must be "meet the press." >> that's right. david gregory is back to tell us what's coming up on the show. hey, david. >> good morning to both of you. coming up, the republicans had their turn in tampa, the democrats headed to charlotte. we'll examine the president's case for re-election with former white house chief of staff rahm emanuel and an all-star roundtable this morning. that's on the program, on "meet the press." >> thank you very much. we have come to the end of the show. and we are going to leave you with "today's" life illustrated. unfortunately, we're coming to end of summer, as well so, one last look back today at all the good times we've all had. >> see you back here tonight for "nbc nightly news." have a great labor day weekend, everybody. so long. ♪
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♪ -- captions by vitac -- ♪
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>> up next on 11 news this labor day, a look at the issues affecting everyday citizens in the work force. make sure your kids are sharp this school year, the latest fashion trends for little ones. >> it's dry now but will likely

NBC September 2, 2012 8:00am-9:00am EDT

News/Business. (2012) Aging pitchmen; Jenna gets a lesson on being a mermaid; Today's Life Illustrated. New. (CC) (Stereo)

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